In the year 2000, I’d found Amelia Smith and Oliver ‘Alava’ Jenkins on the 1900 census. I looked for them and their children on the 1910 and 1920 census pages, but could not find them in any electronically indexed website or on any microfilm. The 1930 census would become available to the public in 2002 and so I waited impatiently for the release. As soon as 1930 census was available online, I logged in and typed Oliver Jenkins in as search terms. And wonders of wonders, I found him. His name was spelled correctly–he wasn’t Alava as he had been listed on the 1900 census. But, Amelia was listed as Media! That didn’t matter because listed with them and near them were their children: Livingston, Oliver Jr., Charlotte, Cora, Gladys, Elsie. Also listed were Elzenia, my great grandmother and my grandmother Sarah.
Where had Oliver and Amelia been for the 1910 and 1920 census pages? Who knows, probably living in the ‘House Surrounded by Sugar Cane…!
And, what had become of Joseph aka Young and Charlotte Smith? I searched for death records for them in Iberia and neighboring St. Mary Parish, but could not find any. Then I searched Ancestry.com for public trees that had Joseph and Charlotte Smith. I didn’t find any. So, I searched for Young and Charlotte Smith. And to my surprise, I found a tree with Younger Smith and Charlotte who lived in Iberia Parish. I had found additional offshoots to my Smith branch–Provosts, Williams, Turners, Benjamins, Harris, etc.!!
Since I’d had luck finding Young and Charlotte, I looked to see if anyone else had a Young or Joseph Smith or a Charlotte Smith on their public tree. And I found another tree that listed a Charlotte Smith and included her death record in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Joy of joys, Charlotte’s death certificate included the names of her parents: Joseph and Charity Phillips. Charlotte was born in Maryland in 1828. So, now I had names of people possibly born before 1800.
Several family members had taken the Ancestry DNA test. There were a number of people who closely matched us of all and they lived in Calvert County, Maryland. I typed Joseph Phillips in the Ancestry.com search boxes and chose Calvert County, Maryland as their place of residence. There in my search results for 1870 were Joseph and Carrity (Charity) Phillips. In the same household was a 74 year old Hester Phillips and a young boy, Joseph Tawney. And on that very same page was the Tawney family that matched our DNA in Ancestry: Mager, Eliza, Peter, Lloyd, Rebecca, Moses, Joseph and Hester Tawney (Torney).
So, Joseph and Charity ‘Carrity’ were Charlotte’s sister and brother and Hester was her mother. Charlotte must have spoken often about Joseph and Charity Phillips, because someone remembered those names and included them on Charlotte’s death certificate. They may not have remembered the relationship of Joseph and Charity Phillips to Charlotte totally correctly, but they remembered their names. I later found Joseph Phillips’ Maryland death certificate and found out that his father’s name was also Joseph Phillips.
My tree had suddenly grown vertically! Wow!!
What’s in a name? A whole lot!
A good name is more desirable than riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.